Tortuga Arrives at Poblacion

While I frequent the bars and clubs at Poblacion, Tortuga is quite new. I found out from the owner that they used to be at Katipunan. They sure picked a good spot to move to. For those who haven't heard of Tortuga, it is a Caribbean-inspired bar that has very nice interiors. How were their food and drinks? Read on:

Jerk Chicken

One menu item that we got first dibs on is the Jerk Chicken. Who doesn't like grilled chicken paired with fried plantains and mixed veggies? I know I loved it. This one will certainly stay on the menu for a long time.

Jungle Pumba (P350)

For those who love pork, their Jungle Pumba is slow-cooked pork belly with lettuce and rice. The pork is very tender too. I learned one lesson here. Never underestimate the food of a bar.

Pork Skewers

One dish that's perfect to be paired with their drinks is the Pork Skewers. The meat is cooked to perfection and it's pretty big too.

Chicken Skin (P180)

One of their best-sellers is the Chicken Skin. When I tried it, I found out why. It is fried to perfection and very crunchy too.

Espaniola (P240)

I love the selection of cocktails they have. The Espaniola is a Tequila-based Aloe vera drink with pomelo pulp. I guarantee you're going to have 3 of this before the night is over.

Sol Swizzle (P240)

This fruity cocktail contains pineapple, guyabano and rum. It's so addicting that you won't notice how many you've had by the end of the night.

Sneaky Tiki (P240)

Out of the three cocktails, this one is my favorite because it tastes like iced tea. It is actually sweet tea with vodka, bourbon and rasperry. I guess that's why.

Tip: Stay glued to their Facebook and Instagram for amazing happy hour promos. You would not want to miss out on their amazing deals.

2nd Floor, Lokal Hostel

Students Step Up in Asia Young Designer Awards

Nippon Paint names winners of the Asia Young Designer Award (AYDA) Philippines 2018

Nippon Paint (Coatings) Philippines, Inc. announced recently the winners for the Philippine edition of the Asia Young Designer Award (2018) in a ceremony held recently in this city.

For the Architecture category, the Gold award with a Php 50,000 cash prize was awarded to Prince Lu of UP Mindanao, while the Silver award with a Php 30,000 prize went to Megan Recato of UP Diliman.

For the Interior Design competitions, University of Santo Tomas’ Odrysa Mie Serino bagged the Gold award and Php 50,000 prize money while the Silver and Php 30,000 prize went to Jhessa Mae Romero of University of San Carlos.

Lu’s winning design, called “Neokamaigen,” is a futuristic city concept that hopes to answer housing needs in the future and prepare the Philippines for the melting of the ice glaciers that will raise water levels around the globe. Serino, on the other hand, came up with “Gunita,” a greenhouse cemetery concept that will deal with social issues like environmental deterioration and land insufficiency. This space-saving cemetery places the dead vertically inside a Manunggul Jar, a pre-historic practice where the jar serves as a burial pod.

As Gold awardees for AYDA 2018, which carried the theme “FORWARD: Challenging Design Boundaries,” Lu and Serino will go to the AYDA 2018 Regional Finals, which will be held in Singapore and compete with the best Architecture and Interior Design students in Asia. They will vie for the chance to be included in the Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s Design Discovery Program.

Aside from the major prizes, special prizes were also handed out during the glittering ceremony. For Architecture, the Best Color Concept award went to Eunice Ignacio of UST, while Best Green Innovation was collared by Jan Melvin of the Technological Institute of the Philippines. Jericho Calderon of the Far Eastern University (FEU) won the People’s Choice award, and the Most Supportive School award went to FEU with 217 entries. As for the Interior Design category, Best Color Concept award went to Cristiane Macarabe of University of San Carlos, while Nino Tayao of College of St. Benilde won both the Best Green Innovation and People’s Choice award. UST was declared the Most Supportive school for Interior Design with 36 entries.

“This year’s entries were truly out of the box and very creative, perhaps triggered by this year’s theme. Since Nippon Paint became part of AYDA, we know the entries to be very strong and in fact, we almost won the regionals before. This year, we’re optimistic that a Filipino will go to Harvard,” declares Michael Francisco, Nippon Paint (Coatings) Philippines General Manager.

He said AYDA 2018 is the perfect opportunity to highlight the best of the country and showcase the brilliance of the youth. He also thanked the mentors and academic partners who selflessly guided, motivated and shared their expertise to the students, and for allowing them to join. Nippon Paint, he said, is proud to shine the spotlight on these great talents through AYDA 2018.

The Asia Young Designer Award (AYDA) 2018, held at the GT-Toyota Asian Center Auditorium, is a design competition open to Architecture and Interior Design students. The AYDA 2018 judges is composed of prominent and well-established industry professionals and is supported by the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), Council of Deans and Heads of Architecture Schools in the Philippines (CODHASP), the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers (PIID), and the Council of Interior Design Educators (CIDE).

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Unbelievable Korean BBQ Promo at Sibyullee

Wow, I was really excited to try Sibyullee's Unlimited Korean BBQ. These days, everyone is into Korean BBQ buffets and I'm known to be a late bloomer so I'm just starting to like it. Thanks to Sibyullee, I simply adore it now.

There is only one word to describe their new promo and that is unbelievable. You just need to be at least two people and you can choose up to 10 meat selections per table. However, you can only order two at a time which is reasonable because you don't want your grill to be full of meat. In addition, there is no time limit unlike other Korean restaurants I have tried. The rates are very reasonable too.

Aside from the meat, the side dishes are also unlimited. The list includes vegetable pancake, rice, soup, mashed sweet potato, pickled radish, salad and kimchi. While my companions were feasting on the kimchi since they like spicy food, I had 3 servings of the vegetable pancake. The other sides were great too. Besides, your Korean dining experience wouldn't be complete without trying all of them.

Out of all the meat selections, I enjoyed the Soy Garlic Samgyupsal and Salt & Peppered Chicken the most. You can only imagine how many refills I had of those two. I tried all the meat selections though and they were all splendid. I recommend not eating the entire day to prepare yourself for their unlimited Korean BBQ promo. If you have a big appetite, you can indeed go all day long.

Japchae (P300)

Not included in the Korean buffet is the Japchae. However, I love Japchae so I had to order it. I was really happy at how flavorful their version is. It has everything you could ever ask for in a Japchae.

Ripe Mango Shake (P125)

Mango Banana Shake (P125)

We ended the early dinner with a couple of fruit shakes. It was a really healthy way to end the dinner as both shakes were milky and fruit which is just the way I like them.

What's not to like about Sibyullee? The service is great. In fact, the servers were focused on us if we wanted more refills. The interiors are also nice. Best of all, the food is exceptional. I will definitely come back.

G/F, Ayala Malls at the 30th
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Celebrating New and Old Dishes at The Stockpile

Back in the day, when someone asked me for a restaurant recommendation, I would always say Sunshine Kitchen. Now, the same people behind it came up with a cool new concept called The Stockpile. It is a restaurant where groups can enjoy a wide variety of Western comfort food. After trying out their new and old dishes, this is definitely the new restaurant I will recommend.

6 Hour Slow Roast Porchetta Sandwich (P295)

We started off the night with one of their most impressive new dishes, the 6 hour slow roast porchetta sandwich. Even if I'm trying to stay away from pork, I find it hard to resist this yummy sandwich. Two thumbs up!

Squid Ink Pasta with Seafood in Cream Sauce (P385)

Another new addition to the menu is the squid pink pasta. It is very creamy which is just the way I like my pasta. They have a generous amount of seafood there too and who would not like that?

Soju Yakult (P599)

It was my first time trying a cocktail that contains Yakult and as expected the Yakult overpowers the liquor. That spells bad news for those who get addicted to this cocktail rather quickly and that list includes me.

Steak and Fries (P795)

Their huge medium rare steak is good enough for 2 to 3 people or one hungry me. Yes, it is that big. I really loved how tender it is too. Some may think it is a bit pricey but I say it is worth every penny.

Pan Roasted 24-Hour Brined Double Cut Porkchop (P540)

Another meat dish that has a big serving is their porkchop. It may not be seen in the picture but it is lying on a bed of mashed potato and that's always great. I've seen big servings of porkchop before but this one is just HUGE. It's cooked perfectly too so my compliments to Chef Tanya.

6-Hour Slow Roast Porchetta (P520)

One of their specialties is the Roast Porchetta and once I tried it, I quickly found out why. This dish exemplifies how porchetta should be cooked. Try it and you will see what I am talking about.

Bacalao Empanadas 3 pcs (P180)

Good news for those who love eating meryenda and are working in the Ortigas business district! The Bacalao Empanadas are so filling that you will end up eating a light dinner.

The Stockpile Fries with Truffle Aioli (P280)

I just can't stop getting from the Stockpile Fries. It is really addicting especially when it is combined with the truffle dip.

Salted Egg Baby Squid with Squid Ink Aioli (P295)

It was not too long ago when the salted egg craze hit the nation. Yes, there was salted egg versions of chicken, fish, beef and now, squid. I have to say this is such a great idea and there's absolute greatness in every bite.

Callos con Garbanzos (P390)

Last but certainly not the least is their Callos con Garbanzos. There is a right amount of meat and tripe in this one. Additionally, I ABSOLUTELY loved the sauce.

I will definitely be back not only for the food but the comfy ambiance too. There's even live bands every Tuesday and Thursday plus a DJ that plays every Friday. There's also a happy hour every Monday to Thursday and Saturday from 5 to 9 pm. It is a drink all you can promo for selected cocktails, wine and spirits.

The Stockpile
1st Floor, Sapphire Bloc

HOGWings Opens at Mercato Centrale

The new concept coming from the same folks behind House of Griddle is HOGWings. It's obviously a food stall that sells chicken wings and it is located at Mercato Centrale BGC and Mckinley branches. They even hold spicy wings challenges for those who dare to enter. All I can say is good luck to those who decide to.

Salted Egg and Garlic Parmesan

I picked Salted Egg and Garlic Parmesan right away as the two flavors for me since those are my favorite. I was glad to know their sauces are made from scratch which explains how good they are. I'll definitely order these two flavors again. They're so yummy with a capital M!

Cheesy Bacon & Hickory Smoked BBQ

Anything with bacon is great and that includes wings so the Cheesy Bacon gets a big fat approval from me. Meanwhile, the Hickory Smoked BBQ flavor looks just like one of their special flavors but it isn't spicy. In fact, it got me hooked from the first bite.

Korean Soy & War and Peach

When it's one of their special flavors, you can expect your lips to be on fire. That's what happened to me when I tried the War & Peach. Manong Sorbetes to the rescue! I recommend their special flavors for those who like their wings spicy though. The Korean Soy flavor wasn't exactly what I expected but it did exceed my expectations.

Black B

Those who were willing to go the extra mile were given the chance to try the Black B and the Kornbanero. The sauces for the special flavors were made by the members of the Philippine Hot Sauce club. Unfortunately, I wasn't brave enough to do it so just like what we were eating, I "chickened" out.

Original Flavors: 4pcs  - P129
6pcs - P149
8pcs - P189
12pcs - P299

Special Flavors
4pcs - P149
6pcs - P169
8pcs - P209
12pcs - P329

Muang Thai ReOpens in Grand Fashion

Muang Thai is a restaurant that has been around for 22 years and they recently revamped their looks and menu. I live nearby and I'm glad I got to find out about this restaurant. It's huge which makes it perfect to hold grand occasions. 

On to the food, it is simply magnificent. In fact, owner Regina Romero traveled to Bangkok to immerse herself with the Thai culture. The result is a brand-spanking new menu containing twists to old and new Thai dishes.

Tom Yum Talay

Those who like spicy soups will love their Tom Yum soup. I personally like how the shrimp skewers are separated. This one is highly recommended especially during the rainy season.

Beef Short Ribs

I loved how tender the beef is in this dish. Also, it's paired with pineapples and mushrooms which is always a good thing.

Spring Rolls

This crispy Thai favorite is meatless so it's the ideal healthy appetizer. I loved every bite I had of it. Good thing, there were a lot.

Mu Krob

The Mu Krob reminds me of Kare-kare because of the sauce. The pork is cooked just the way I liked it too which is juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Satay Gai

Perhaps, my favorite Thai dish of all time is the Chicken Satay and their version did not disappoint. I also loved the peanut sauce. I wouldn't hesitate ordering another serving of this dish.

Pad Thai

Whenever I go to Thai restaurants, it is an automatic that I will order Pad Thai. Their version is full of shrimp, fried tofu curds and chicken. It's definitely one of those Pad Thais I will remember for a long time.

Khao Kluk Kapi

The rice is big enough for the entire family. They are certainly not selfish when it comes to the serving. I recommend pairing this with their mouth-watering meat dishes.

Chicken Pandan

The dish I was most excited about was this Chicken Pandan and it was well worth the wait. The homemade soy sauce is great too. In fact, opening those leaves is like opening a treasure chest. This dish certainly gets a two thumbs up.

Spicy Basil Mixed Seafood

Seafood lovers will certainly love this dish as it has squid, clams, fish and shrimp. The sauce is pretty addicting too.

Mango Sticky Rice

We ended the lunch with this yummy Mango Sticky Rice. Since I was so full after eating all those yummy dishes, I only had the mango and a bit of the rice. It tastes so milky thanks to the coconut sauce that those with the sweet tooth will certainly love it.

Will I come back? Of course! I live nearby, I love Thai food and the interiors are attractive. That's not even mentioning the wonderful service of the staff.

Muang Thai
138 Malakas St. , Diliman, Quezon City

Fun Facts About Spices

People are fascinated by the smell, taste and health benefits of spices from long time ago. Spices have a very turbulent history and, in some way, they have shaped the world we live in now. There is an interesting story about the effects and the cultural impact of spices you have in your kitchen. Here are only a few of them.


Lavender has a distinctive fragrant and it is often used in perfumes and essential oils. Its name comes from the Latin word “lavare”, which means “to wash”. In the old times, when bathing was not a common practice, people used to use lavender to aromatize clothes and linen.

You can use it to add the distinctive floral taste to the wide variety of meals. It might sound surprising, but it can improve the flavor of sweet and savory dishes, chocolate cupcakes, beet salad, buttermilk fried chicken, cheesecake, sorbet, roasted turkey and many, many more.


The origin of this super-healthy plant is the Mediterranean cuisine. Its name comes from the Greek language and means “delight of the mountains”. It is commonly grown in gardens because it enhances the growth of the surrounding plants.

It is most popular as the “pizza herb”, but it is also often used in the Italian cuisine for preparation of pasta and tomato sauce. It is a powerful antiseptic and it has a profound influence on the immune system. It contains a high level of Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, and vitamins K and B-6. It has four times more antioxidants than blueberries. 


Almost 90 percent of the world’s production of turmeric takes place in India. It is a deep orange-yellow powder from the family of ginger, famous for its strong health benefits. It is even used as a natural antivenin for the bites of King Cobra.

Turmeric contains various types of compounds that have tremendous benefits for your health. The most important is curcumin, a strong antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory pain-reliever. It is often used in the form of pills to fight many health problems like the brain and heart diseases, cancer, depression, Alzheimer disease, osteoarthritis, and many more. 

Chili Pepper

Chili pepper had been an essential part of the North American cuisine even before the European settlers came to the New World. There are many varieties of the chili peppers, but they all have one thing in common – their hotness comes from the compound called “capsaicin”.

While chili peppers may cause some serious burns on the flesh of mammals, birds are completely immune to it. This is why they are responsible for excreting their seeds. If you try a chili pepper that is too hot, take a glass of milk or any liquid dairy product because it  will neutralize the burning sensation of capsaicin.


Pepper has a truly fascinating history. In the past, it was a very expensive spice, so only rich people were able to consume it. It was shipped from India through the spice routes and the traders often fought among themselves on the way to Europe. It was so valuable during the Middle Ages that people measured their wealth according to the stash of pepper they possessed.

It was more valuable than gold, so it was often used as a form of legal currency. Even today, the expression “pepper expensive” is still used in many languages throughout Europe to label something as very expensive. 


Cinnamon comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree and it is one of the rare spices that can be consumed raw. It can be very useful in everyday life. If you add a few drops of cinnamon oil to your lotion or sunscreen, it can serve as a natural pesticide and destroy bugs. Also, if you mix cinnamon with honey and apply it on your hair, it will lighten it up.
It is recommendable to include cinnamon in your regular diet because it has many health benefits. It can protect you from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and bacterial infections. It is full of antioxidants which reduce inflammatory processes in your body and lower the risk of these diseases.

Spices are very beneficial for your health if you use them properly. They add a special flavor to your meals and protect you from many diseases. So, make sure to include them in your diet and your health will improve rapidly.